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Net study is a no-show

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A major socio-economic study into how the Internet affects people is to be launched today by the Center for Communication Policy at UCLA. It will find out how people react to the Internet and how it alters their behaviour. It will examine everything from the use of e-mail and shopping habits to how it affects personal behaviour and political prejudices. "On June 8 you will be able to click here to learn more about the Center's new, groundbreaking study about the impact the Internet is having on the social structure of America and around the world," reads the introductory bumph on the UCLA site. Well, it is 8 June and not a dicky-bird and the link that does exist is ruptured. So here's a free piece of socio-enlightening data courtesy of The Register to get the researchers on their way. 1. Broken links hack people off. Big time. 2. Claiming to launch something on such-and-such a day then have nothing to show for it could drive people to flip and become violent. 3. To pre-suppose that everyone is working on laid-back Californian time is an insult to the wider Net community around the rest of the world. As well as putting the habits of US Net users under the microscope, the study will also track Net usage in Italy and Singapore, with the possibility of other countries getting involved at a later date. "The Internet is transforming how we work, how we play and how we learn," Jeffrey Cole, the study's principal investigator and director of the UCLA Center for Communication Policy is quoted as saying. "There isn't anything that's not going to be affected by this technology." AOL, Microsoft, Disney and Sony are just some of the companies that have stumped up the cash for this annual benchmark of Net behaviour. ®

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